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Seasonal and interannual studies of vortices in sea surface temperature data

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An algorithm for calculating feature displacement velocities and for detecting vortices has been applied to 13 years of sea surface temperature data derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data. A unique global event database for seasonal and interannual studies of the spatial distribution of oceanic vortices was created for the years 1986-1998. The results indicate that (1) the number of vortices in each season is fairly constant from year to year in each hemisphere--however, their preferred locations change on seasonal to interannual time-scales; (2) the maximum number of vortices were detected in the summer and in the winter in all oceans and the minimum number were detected in the autumn; and (3) the distribution of the spatial density function shows preferred localizations such as 40° S, the tropical instability region, marginal seas, western boundary and eastern boundary current regimes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Berkeley CA 94720 USA 2: RSMAS University of Miami 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway Miami FL 33149 USA

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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